October 1943 Newel Offensive

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Ebusitanus
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October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Ebusitanus » 22 Jul 2021 15:27

Hello,
I am in the process of researching the curcumstances surrounding the death of my german greatuncle on October 16 1943. He was part of the 662 Heeres Pionier Batalion. Following the breakthrough through the 2nd Luftwaffe Field Korps in front of the town of Newel on October 6th 1943, soviet forces toke Newel and spread out west of it. As part of the frantic german artempts to close the gap my greatuncle's battalion was taken our from their fortification works on the Panther Stellung and sent to close the strait between the Mal and Bol Iwan lakes north of Newel. On October 15th 1943 soviet forced attempted to force this strait and eventually overan the two Pionier Battalions defending it. This attack got thrown back but on October 16 my greatuncle died nearby and was buried in a few miles away hamlet of Gostilowo. I have plenty of Washington NARA german microfilm files for the 43d German Army Korps and 1st Army Korps under which his unit operated which I sm researching. Would love to find out more about the soviet side of these eventful days as to learn more about that side of that attack on October 15th. Does someone know something that might help me along or can direct me towards a RKKA forum with knowledgable people that might help me here?

Many thanks in advance

Daniel

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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by GregSingh » 23 Jul 2021 04:48

Here is a page from diaries of Soviet 357th Rifle Division.
Looks like 1188th Rifle Regiment of that division took Ostrov and captured isthmus on the 15th of October 1943.

00000088.jpg
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=130857613


And fragment of Soviet map showing Ostrov, hill 151 and positions of German 662 Pionier Batalion.

map.jpg

In case you haven't seen this already, here is a detailed map of the whole area, including Gostilowo:
http://igrek.amzp.pl/result.php?cmd=id& ... at=USSR100
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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Ebusitanus » 23 Jul 2021 12:44

Many many thanks GregSingh for your very kind reply as its quite helpful for me and opens news questions.

The area I was looking for is also known as the Karatai narrow on the peninsula just west on the same lake of the Ostrov isthmus. This area was under the care of the 662 and 672 german Pionier Battalions which were quite understrenght and underequiped in heavy weapondry having been fighting and trying to close the gap made by the Soviet Nevel offensive since the 06/10/43. Both battalions were attached to the german 263 Infantry division and retreated to said positions on the Karatai isthmus. On the early hours of the 15/10/43 they were attacked and thrown back across the peninsula. Only the timely arrival of the 69th Infantry Division in counterattack eventually restablished the original line.
Acording to my documentation (NARA, Glanz and Haupt) this attack was made by the 28th Rifle Division (One regiment?) and the 100th Rifle Brigade. I would need to find records detailing the action of said units or Korps for this attack.

Acording to my records the Ostrov isthmus was taken by surprise on the 14/10/43 by a group of 50 men and given the ruggedness of this isthmus was not retaken by the germans eventhough they tried twice. Your excellent information has now given me the name of the soviet 1188th Rifle Regiment.
It is VERY interesting to see the map you have attached there showing the 662 Pionier Battalion. Is there a date of when this map was made? My records imply that since the Isthmus was under the 263ID care that it was their units who attempted to retake it. Your map and what we know about both Pionier battalions being attached to the 263ID makes me believe that the guarding of the Ostrov area fell to the 662. Perhaps it even was the 662 which attempted to retake the Isthmus and failed.

Sadly I do not know russian as to be able to translate this most excelent diary of the 357 Rifle Division. Would you be able? Can similar information be found on the 28th Rifle Division and possibly the 100th Rifle Brigade? Many many thanks in advance.

Daniel

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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by GregSingh » 24 Jul 2021 07:30

Just to clarify for the benefit of others:
Ostrov isthmus is between lake Bol'shoy Ivan (Oзеро Большой Иван) and lake Malyy Ivan (Oзеро Малый Иван).
Karatayka isthmus is between lake Karatay (Oзеро Каратай) and lake Bol'shoy Ivan.

Unfortunately I could not find much about actions on Karatayka isthmus.
There is no diaries of Soviet 100th Rifle Brigade. Diaries of Soviet 28th Rifle Division have a gap between 11th and 20th of October, with a short passage for the 15th, but not in the area of interest.
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=110000010

Diaries of Soviet 3rd Shock Army for the 15th of October mentioned a German attack (269.ID! - possibly they meant 263) against Soviet 100th Rifle Brigade, from Izocha towards Trushkova, causing Soviets to withdraw down south on Karatayka isthmus.
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=110148640
It seems 28th RD was not involved on the isthmus during 15th of Oct. as all regiments were busy fighting off German attacks from the west, between lake Karatay and down south lake Ivanovskoe, along railroad north of Nevel.

100RB.jpg
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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Ebusitanus » 25 Jul 2021 00:14

Hello GregSingh,
Those are already two very nice maps you have attached here. Where do you get them from?

Also, could you please tell me if the first map about the 357 Rifle Division opposing the 662 Pionier Battalion has a date? It would really help my research
Same request about the second map. Is that a map for the 15th of October?

You are correct that at paymat-naroda the 28 Rifle Division makes a jump that leaves out from the 11th of October to the 20th. In my ignorance I made a search for just "28 сд" and plenty of results come out covering these dates. Of course I have no idea what these reports say or if they even cover this same 28th Rifle Division. Hope you might help me. Here are a few, there are many more.

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451769554

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451769561

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451769562

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451769570

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451769555

You mention that the 28 Rifle Division toke no part on the 15/10/43 assault. This is what Glantz has to say:

"begining on 15 October, the 3rd Shock Army on the northern flank of the Nevel salient attacked the villages of Moseevo and Isocha on the northeastern flank of the salient near Lake Bol´shyi Ivan with the 100 Rifle Brigade and one regiment of the 28th Rifle Division"

Regarding the diaries of the 3rd Shock Army. It is funny that 269 is being mentioned as the Isthums was originally part of the 263rd ID yet the counterattacking force was the 69th ID. A nice mix between both unit designations there.

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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by GregSingh » 25 Jul 2021 04:33

When you search for a unit at paymat-naroda, its combat route shows up at the bottom of a page. Then you just pick up a map for a closest date. Couldn't find a map for 15th of Oct. These are closer to 20th when front line stabilized in the area of those lakes.
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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Ebusitanus » 25 Jul 2021 08:07

Your first attached map is from October 14?

The links I attached in my last reply are they documents about the 28th Rifle Division?

If yes, by any chance, do they relate at all to the Karatai combat or give any hint regarding the 662 Pionier Battalion?

Both maps you have attached. Where did you find them? Also at pamyat-naroda?

Thanks

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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by GregSingh » 25 Jul 2021 11:34

Your first attached map is from October 14?
No, see my post #6 - Oct. 20th.
The links I attached in my last reply are they documents about the 28th Rifle Division?
Yes.
do they relate at all to the Karatai combat or give any hint regarding the 662 Pionier Battalion?
No.
Both maps you have attached. Where did you find them? Also at pamyat-naroda?
Yes, see my post #6 how to find them.
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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Ebusitanus » 25 Jul 2021 22:36

GregSingh wrote:
25 Jul 2021 11:34
No, see my post #6 - Oct. 20th.
do they relate at all to the Karatai combat or give any hint regarding the 662 Pionier Battalion?

No.
My bad, thought, or hoped, both would be separate maps with separate dates. Now looking closer I do see that the 357RD front line marked on the Ostrov Istmus does show on the 20RD and 100RB map.
Thats unfortunate since I hoped the first attached map was relating to the October 14th soviet crossing of the lake and perhaps the 662th defense and atempted counterattacks. Now I can but make conjectures on who actually tried to stop the soviet beach head. As the map is now confirmed of the 20th of October the Pio.Btl.662 presence there can just mean it was moved there after the 69th ID arrived, counterattacked the 28thRD and 100RB and threw them back across the Karatai ithmus. Its curious too that the map of the 20th still shows the 263ID in charge of the Karatai area when the 69ID had taken over the defense of the area five days before.

Would you perhaps know a russian ww2 history forum or site that might help me further on my quest?

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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by GregSingh » 26 Jul 2021 04:52

If you would like to ask a question on a Russian forum, host of this section - Art might be the best person to recommend one.
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Re: October 1943 Newel Offensive

Post by Art » 27 Jul 2021 17:01

The following piece of the war diary of the 100 Rifle Brigade is quoted in the article down the link
By 2:00 on 15.10.43. elements of the brigade were fully prepared for battle. The rest of the night before the start of the artillery preparation was spent in coordination and clarification of interaction issues and the conduct of a combat mission by the commanders of units and subunits.
10.15.43 The brigade fought to eliminate the enemy in the area between Lakes Bol.Ivan and Karatay with the task of capturing the village and railroad station Izocha did not fulfill the assigned task, and at the same time suffered heavy losses. In this operation, the brigade destroyed: 1483 enemy soldiers and officers, knocked out and burned 14 tanks, 2 self-propelled guns "Ferdinand", 19 vehicles, 21 guns, 5 mortars, 10 heavy machine guns, 28 light machine guns, more than 150 rifles, 70 machine guns and additional materiel of the enemy. The main shortcomings identified in the last hostilities of the brigade: poor work of supply services, untimely delivery of ammunition and evacuation of the wounded due to lack of transport. Lack of artillery directly organic to the brigade. At the onset of 50%, the latter follows in the battle formations of the infantry.
https://historygreatrussia.ru/2020/12/1 ... razovanie/

It is clear from this piece that 100 RB attacked the isthmus between Karatai and Bolshoi Ivan. From available records of casualties 100 Rifle Brigade suffered very heavy losses on 15.10.1943 - about several hundred men killed. 2nd Battalion alone had 89 men killed. Those whose bodies were recovered were buried at the Zaivanie village (between Lakes Karatai and Bolshoi Ivan)
http://www.polk.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=6383

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